Relationships with Other Organizations


NASAD maintains relationships with other organizations in support of accreditation efforts across the field in higher education. A list of related organizations in the following categories is provided below (in alphabetical order by and within each category):

Please Note: For information regarding joint reviews and other inter-agency coordination, please see Connections with Other Review Procedures.

Accreditation Organizations (Discipline-Specific)

Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)

NASAD is a member of ASPA. ASPA brings together the specialized accrediting agencies in a forum for discussion, debate, and review of current issues and events.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

NASAD and CAEP join in cooperation for the benefit of institutions. The standards of the two associations do not contradict one another. NASAD reflects education accreditation status in its Directory List of member institutions. CAEP’s policy regarding the review of art and design education programs states:

“CAEP reduces the amount of evidence needed from programs accredited by other national specialized accreditors for inclusion in CAEP’s review of the education unit (school, college or department of education).”

CAEP accepts information from the following specialized accrediting organizations:

[Editor’s Note: The excerpt below omits the names of all organizations except the Reston-based arts accreditation associations represented by this website.]

For programs accredited by one of these organizations, CAEP requires units to present the official notice of accreditation from the other specialized accrediting organization. As necessary, CAEP may require the submission of additional information.

National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)

NASD is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in dance and dance related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

NASM is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in music and music related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)

NAST is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in theatre and theatre related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

Accreditation Organizations (Regional)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Formerly part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes the following 19 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

MSCHE accredits institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

NEASC accredits post-secondary educational institutions in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

NWCCU accredits post-secondary institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

SACS accredits post-secondary educational institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

WASC accredits four-year post-secondary educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, and Northern Marianas Islands, as well as schools for American children in Asia.

Federal Agency

United States Department of Education (USDE)

NASAD is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as the institutional and specialized accrediting body for the field of art and design. This recognition enables NASAD to function as a gatekeeper for the purpose of Title IV funding eligibility for independent schools of art and design not otherwise institutionally accredited.

NASAD Professional Affiliate Organizations

Click here for further information.

AIGA, the Professional Association for Design

AIGA, the professional association for design is a Professional Affiliate Organization of NASAD and participates in discussions regarding accreditation standards.

Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)

The Industrial Designers Society of America is a Professional Affiliate Organization of NASAD and participates in discussions regarding accreditation standards.